Teacher Handbook

HCOS Teacher's Handbook

These pages are the various policies and procedures we ask our teachers to follow as they work with our students and families in the Online School.


Teaching in a Christian School

The Two Approaches to Teaching in the School

  1. Individualized
  2. Online Courses

Communication Policy (pdf)
Sample Teacher Contract (pdf)


Teaching in a Christian School

We consider it a great privilege to teach children in a Christian School. As educators we have a responsibility before God in how we conduct ourselves and in how we perform this calling. We are committed to a spirit of excellence in this task and ask God for His help in all that we do.

Quote from our brochure:

Heritage Christian Online School has been distinctly called to serve and support the home educator. Our Administration, Teachers and Support Staff are all devoted evangelical Christians. Our courses and curriculum will always lead and educate the home learner to a Christian Worldview and Perspective. We believe strongly in the integration of Biblical Truth in and through every discipline of learning. We take seriously the command of our Lord Jesus Christ to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, ….. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you….”. We believe it is important to provide qualified educators to support our families. Nevertheless, we also believe that the stewardship and the ultimate responsibility of caring and educating our children rests with the parent.

The following articles will outline our philosophy of education:

The two approaches to teaching in the School:

1. Individualized

Each individual family has a unique approach to learning. This approach allows families the freedom to pursue their learning goals while meeting the PLO’s through a variety of methods. We start with a Student Learning Plan (SLP) designed by the teacher, parent and student. We support the integration of learning outcomes from different grade levels and our assessments are based on how the student meets the PLO’s. Our teachers are trained to respect and identify the many different ways of meeting PLO’s and we encourage students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. In the Individualized approach the parent acts as an active teaching assistant. The teacher will need to work closely with the parent (TA) in the day to day oversight of the student's instructional program.

The teacher ensures that students are meeting the BC Educational program through the following means:

Developing a Student Learning Plan (SLP) for each student and each subject which includes: Specific Goals/Topics; Learning Strategies/Activities; Evaluation and Assessment; Recourses Required; a Timeline. The development of the SLP is the teacher's responsibility but should be done in collaboration with the parent and their preferred curriculum. Teachers will have to familiarize themselves with the different home education philosophies and the specific curriculum outcomes. When areas of the BC Educational Plan are not covered the teacher will need to suggest supplemental materials to meet the BC Learning Outcomes. The SLP is posted online in Encom, our school administration program.

Weekly Contact - Teachers should initiate weekly contact with a conversational email to each of their families. The email should include questions about informal learning as well a query about how much time is spent on learning each week (this includes both formal and informal instruction). Please allow families one week to respond. If you don’t hear from them within a week then please contact them by phone. If you aren’t able to get in touch with them by phone and another week goes by without any contact then please let the office know. Your response to their weekly email should include a teaching suggestion that reflects the actual learning that was detailed in the email. This is one of our primary means of active teaching – please take advantage of it. Your suggestions should take into account the family’s learning style. This is a good opportunity to make suggestions that tie into their topics of interest while meeting PLO’s. Your suggestions can include websites to visit, book suggestions, hands-on activity ideas, field trip ideas, or anything else that you feel is relevant. The weekly email is also an important aspect of our assessment. Families will provide you with details about informal learning that occurred during the week. Your job is to find the Provincial Learning Outcomes that were covered through those activities and track them through Encom.

We have provided an optional Email Template for the weekly contact.

Portfolio Assessment - Parents and students will save work samples throughout their learning experience. Portfolios are submitted three times each year, in October, February, and May. They should include two to three samples from each core subject area as well as a short summary about the student’s learning in other subject areas. We welcome parental comments about the student’s samples and progress and we ask that students take part in self-evaluation of their contributions to the portfolio.

Details of what should be in the Portfolio are found in our Assessment Policy

Tracking the Provincial Learning Outcomes (PLO) - It is the teacher's responsibility to "discover" the BC Educational Plan in the curriculum and home educational program for each student in each subject of study. This is done by matching the curriculum, activities, formal and informal modes of instruction to the PLO's. In the HCOS student administration program (Encom) there is a link from each subject in the SLPs to the PLOs. These coincide with the students records. When the teacher discovers that an outcome has been meet they will enter specific data for each student. This data consists of checking off the PLO, giving a mark for the PLO and entering a comment on the PLO. The parents also have access to their student's PLO and can check off an indication that they feel the outcome has been meet and enter a comment. The recording of the outcome is not complete until the teacher confirms that it has been accomplished.

2. Online Courses

Paired with our BC certified teachers, you’ve got a comprehensive, Christian school delivered to your student over your home computer. Your student will link up with other like minded students worldwide to share in their learning experience. Parents are an integral part of this program and provide the home learning environment, while we provide the instruction, marking, and accreditation. The Online School combines great courses, online instruction, and dedicated teachers who provide your student with a strong academic program that will cultivate a Christian Biblical Worldview. Our program is specifically suited prepare your student for their future, whether that be University, Bible College, Trades Programs, or the Work Force.

Course Management and Communication - the courses are delivered through Moodle, our learning management software. Teachers will monitor student progress within their courses. Teacher are expected to make any relevant changes within the online course and submit them to the HCOS office and enhancement team. When a significant change is made to a particular course the teacher may qualify for royalties when the particular course is used in the future. The teacher will also interact with students here in discussion forums that is associated with each course.

Email Communication - Online Course teachers use email as their primary means of communication with students and with parents. In the case when a student hasn't checked in for some time then the teacher is expected to contact the student or parent by phone. For more information on email communication go to the HCOS Communication Policy.

Skype - This is how teachers engage in real-time communication with their students in an environment which includes phone-like voice chat. Teachers are required to have at least two set hours a week where they can "meet" with students for question or specific instruction. Teachers are encouraged to log in to Skype frequently to lend student support, give help, and answer questions. There is a detailed tutorial in the set up and use of Skype in the Teacher Tutorials section of this website.